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It’s tough making a mistake in the Information Age because everything is so public and so permanent. And with the advent of social media, everybody can chime in with an opinion and give their two cents on anything and everything – whether you've made a mistake or not.
So, as you can imagine, when major sports network ESPN decided to use a really wide-angle lens to broadcast the beginning of the Alabama versus Arkansas college football game, the Internet’s reaction was swift and merciless.
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Turning the players on the field and the stadium itself into a diorama, the wide-angle lens obscured every pertinent detail in the game with viewers even missing a field goal due to the lens being used.
This caused people on Twitter to comment that the match was being viewed through Google Earth and videographers to wonder who was taking the Michael out of viewers and making ESPN look foolish in the process. Another commented that “ESPN isn’t even showing up for Alabama games” likely preferring to stream them via geostationary satellite instead in this theory.
You can view the whole thing here on YouTube.
What do you think? Technical error or aesthetic choice?
One thing that is noticeable about ESPN sports broadcasts is how driven they are by video game-esque interfaces. Perhaps that is the inspiration behind this view?
Fortunately for us there is no need to speculate. According to PetaPixel which cites a tweet from ESPN’s Keri Potts, the change was due to weather: “For the safety of our employees, when a lightning strike is detected within 8 miles of any of our events, camera operators in exposed areas are required to take safe shelter. Once 30 minutes has passed without a lightning strike within 8 miles, they may return to their positions.”